Wednesday, 7 December 2011

TRI 5 - VIC 3


The second of a two-game set between the hometown Victoria Royals and the visiting Tri-City Americans went in favour of the road team once again. It was a much better effort for the Royals as they lead the game three times. But once again, the team couldn’t pull off the victory as the Americans scored twice in the third period en route to a 5-3 victory to sweep the series.

Back-up goaltender Jared Rathjen got the start in favour of Keith Hamilton for Victoria. However, Connor Rankin would score twice in the game and Mason Wilgosh chipped in three assists in the win for Tri-City.

Jared Rathjen, post game comments:

Post Game - Jared Rathjen

Victoria would get on the board first in the game. Just over five minutes in, Logan Nelson scored a power play goal with great patience walking his way in front of the net and waiting for Americans goaltender Eric Comrie to go down before sliding the puck into the open net on the Royals first shot of the game. The goal was Nelson’s 13th of the season – assists went to Zane Jones and Kade Pilton.

The lead was short-lived by Victoria as 4:10 later, Adam Hughesman beat Rathjen to tie the game at one, but the Royals would respond. Kevin Sundher scored his team-leading 19th goal of the year to put the Royals back on top. Late in the first period, Royals rookie Luke Harrison received a charging penalty on a questionable call and the Americans capitalized as Connor Rankin scored his first of two on the evening to see a 2-2 game after twenty minutes of play.

Here's Kevin Sundher's thoughts post game:


In the second period, Jared Rathjen came up big for the Royals keeping them in the game. Rathjen made 12 saves in the period, including two tremendous glove saves to save a goal. The teams would exchange goals in the middle stanza. Zane Jones scored his 7th of the season and now has four goals in his last five games. Ben Walker picked up an assist on the Jones goal; Walker now has a three-game point streak with one goal and two assists. With just fifty seconds remaining in the second period, Zachary Yuen scored shortly after a questionable boarding penalty to Brandon Magee expired, and it was tied at three after two periods of play.

The Royals would press early in the third period. Jamie Crooks hit a crossbar early on but was unable to capitalize, and that’s exactly what the Americans did. Connor Rankin scored his second of the game on a back in from below the goal-line to give the Americans their first lead of the night. Then just 1:26 later, Tri-City would capitalize again. Marcus Messier scored his third of the year to give the road team a two-goal cushion and the Royals would not be able to answer as the Americans would skate to a 5-3 victory at the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre.

After the game, Head Coach and General Manager of the Royals Marc Habscheid said, “yeah, I thought that the last goal at the end of the second period was a tough one to give up because that’s not only a tying goal, that’s a bit of a momentum changer. So it was a tough to give that one up, especially off what we thought was a clean hit.

Here's Habscheid's post game thoughts from the media scrum:

The Royals went 1/2 on the power play, while the Americans went 1/5. Tri-City outshot Victoria 30-18 in the hockey game and 7-4 in third period.

The Royals winless streak continues at home. They haven’t won at the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre since a 4-3 victory over the Red Deer Rebels on November 13th. The Royals are now 1-8-1 in their last ten games.

The Royals will have a day off on Thursday, before looking to get off the snide on Friday night when they host the Lethbridge Hurricanes in their last home game before the Christmas break. The game will also be the Teddy Bear Toss night at the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre.

You can catch all the action on The Zone @ 91.3.